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Senior Asda staff seeking exit

enior Asda staff seeking exit
Photo: Asda

Reports have emerged of a mass exodus by Asda senior staff, after headhunters claimed they had been contacted by several executives of the UK retailer, according to The Times. Some Asda executives are said to be leaving as they can no longer participate in the share scheme of Asda’s previous owner Walmart. Asda has restructured its staff bonus opportunities to mitigate the loss of the Walmart share scheme. 

Staff can receive between 100 per cent and 200 per cent of their salary in cash bonuses, depending on their seniority. Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said that he had made the “personal” decision to leave following speculations that the new owners had been looking for his replacement since Christmas. Asda recently recruited Sam Dickson from Waitrose as a new vice-president and Carl Dawson from Marks & Spencer as chief information officer.


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Walmart to open pop-up e-distribution centres

Walmart to open pop-up e-distribution centres
Photo: Walmart USA

US retailer Walmart is to open pop-up e-commerce distribution centres to fulfil home delivery orders this Christmas. The eDCs are planned to meet growing demand for home delivery of online orders. Walmart expects to send out up to 30% of its holiday volume from these pop-up eDCs. 

The move follows Amazon’s use of tents to create temporary delivery stations to support last-mile delivery of packages during demand surges since April 2019. 

Meyar Sheik, president and chief commerce officer of Kibo, said, “This is a direct shot across the bow to Amazon. The move from Walmart further levels the playing field against Amazon’s distribution and logistics advantage as it pertains to expedited shipping options such as one-day or same-day delivery.”

Walmart’s technology team has been working on new and enhanced supply chain systems. A multi-channel sourcing engine (MCSE) scans the entirety of the company’s fulfilment network in less than a second and assigns orders to eDCs when it determines they offer the fastest and most efficient option to fulfil an online order.  


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Walmart sells off Asda

Walmart sells off Asda to Zuber and Mohsin Issa © PR (The Guardian)
Zuber and Mohsin Issa © PR (Source: The Guardian)


Walmart has sold its majority stake in Asda in a deal that values the UK supermarket chain at £6.8 billion. The purchasers are a consortium of brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital, which will take a majority stake in the chain. It means the grocer will return to majority UK ownership for the first time in two decades.

The Issa brothers own EG Group, which has more than 5,200 petrol stations across the UK and Europe. According to the BBC, Walmart said that, under the new owners, Asda will invest £1 billion in the supermarket over the next three years. Asda will keep its headquarters in Leeds and its chief executive, Roger Burnley, will remain in place.

A merger with Sainsbury’s was previously blocked as it would represent unfair competition. Walmart bought Asda in 1999 for £6.7 billion and will retain a minority stake in the retailer.

Asda already has a business relationship with the Issa brothers with its forecourt activities. The supermarket recently announced that it is to open convenience store formats called “Asda On the Move”, which will initially be trialled at three of EG Group’s fuel station forecourts in the Midlands.

Mohsin and Zuber Issa said they wanted to support Asda’s management to achieve long-term growth. “We believe that our experience with EG Group, including our expertise around convenience and brand partnerships and our successful partnership with TDR Capital, can help to accelerate and execute that growth strategy,” they said.

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Walmart China partners with Sweeki for top-quality kiwis

Walmart China partners with Sweeki for top-quality kiwis
Image source: Origine Group /// PRESS RELEASE


The top-quality brand of Origine Group for the first time in Walmart shops and online in China

Ferrara, Italy / June 17, 2020 – Over 400 Walmart China stores nationwide, as well as the chain’s online platforms, are currently promoting  kiwifruit belonging to the Sweeki brand of the Italo-Chilean produce consortium Origine Group. Customers can now purchase Sweeki kiwifruit through Walmart’s omnichannel.

Numerous Walmart stores will hold a wide array of promotional events in the next few weeks, including product samplings to let customers experience the unique taste of Sweeki kiwifruit in advance. Sweeki is the premium kiwifruit brand of the Origine Group, a consortium of nine Italian and Chilean fresh produce companies renowned for providing high-quality products to the global market. The total annual value of the fresh fruits and vegetables produced, packaged and traded by the companies comprising the consortium exceeds $1.2 billion.

The new partnership with Sweeki to stock fresh kiwifruit also covers both hemispheres, with fruit being grown in both Italy and Southern Chile to ensure an uninterrupted supply throughout the year. Given the collaboration with Sweeki, Walmart is able to employ simple and efficient procedures for harvesting and shipping, which will ensure freshness and quality while maintaining cost effectiveness, enabling Chinese customers to spend less while enjoying higher-quality kiwifruit via the Walmart China omnichannel.

The Sweeki brand was established by the group in 2015, with a primary focus on exporting to Asian markets. The name Sweeki is a portmanteau of “sweet” and “kiwi” and represents the company’s commitment to its quality standards. All Sweeki kiwifruit must display a dry matter content of at least 16% prior to harvest and meet stringent standards for sweetness, ripeness, color and shape.

  • fiche/Origine Group

The consortium Origine Group was founded in 2015 by several companies, leaders in the international markets in the production and trading of fresh fruit and vegetables. The consortium represents companies already firmly present on the domestic and international markets, with a total turnover of over 1,200 million dollars, which have joined their resources to provide a top-quality product, working together on innovation and new varieties to look out into new emerging markets. Origine Group member are the Italian groups Apofruit, Frutta C2, Gran Frutta Zani, Kiwi Uno, Minguzzi, Salvi-Unacoa, Spreafico and the Chilean groups David Del Curto and Copefrut.


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Flagship store for Sam’s Club China


Sam’s Club, the high-end membership store of world retailing giant Walmart, is expected to open its flagship store in Shanghai, with a total area of ​​approximately 70,000m2. The opening of the store, the third in the city, is seen as an attempt to stave off the fierce competition from Costco Wholesale stores, reports China Daily.

It will feature more than 4,000 different products, many of which are exclusive to Sam’s Club China with an emphasis on high-quality, fresh, safe, and nutritious products. There will also be direct imports from more than 30 countries and regions around the world.

Andrew Miles, president of Sam’s Club China, said on Wednesday the outlets, growing with their members, are excited to add the flagship outlet into their rapidly expanding footprint, calling it “a testimony of our commitment to our members and China. We are very excited to welcome the flagship store, which represents our commitment to members and the Chinese market.”

The new store will also incorporate the company’s omni-channel approach combining offline stores with e-commerce. Omni-channel members can purchase online and receive deliveries in one hour.

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Indian startup Ninjacart backed by Walmart and Flipkart

Indian startup Ninjacart backed by Walmart and Flipkart, Credit: Business Standard
Credit: Business Standard



Indian online retailer Flipkart and its major stakeholder Walmart have invested in fresh produce startup, Ninjacart. Ninjacart connects fruit and vegetable growers with retailers and food service operators via its technology-integrated supply chain. The new partnership is intended to grant Indian retailers and consumers better access to high-quality fresh produce, while also supporting farmers.

The agreement will enable direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart. At the same time, it will also allow Ninjacart to expand its customer base, reach new cities and gain exposure to global best practices to enhance the efficiency of the local fresh produce ecosystem.

Nijacart currently operates over 200 collection centres and 1,200 warehouses across India, handling in excess of 1,400 tons of fresh produce per day, a volume that has doubled in the last four months.

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Walmart back on track with Produce 2.0

Walmart back on track with Produce 2.0


Walmart’s fresh produce is now at the level of its competitors. This is the bold statement of the US retail giant’s CEO Doug McMillon, following the launch of the Produce 2.0 initiative. Speaking at an investor conference, McMillon said, “We match up (to our rivals), but I don’t want to have our team get comfortable. We have a really competitive quality offer and a great value in produce today.”

McMillon acknowledges that Walmart were behind its rivals in terms of its offerings of fresh food, but argues that thanks to its detailed work on product sourcing and handling to improve speed to shelf and increased hours on the shopfloor, the firm has greatly improved its in-store execution and presentations. These lessons are now being showcased in improved layouts at stores as part of the “Produce 2.0” initiative, a merchandising set expected to be introduced in about half of Walmart’s Supercenters by next summer.

Describing the feeling of entering into a store where these changes have been made, McMillon said, “It looks like a fresh market. There’s a lot of colour. It’s in your face. It feels aggressive from a merchandising point of view. And I walked into my first one in the El Paso market months ago and didn’t realise I was walking into a Produce 2.0 store. But when I walked through the door, it hit me, ‘What has happened here in produce?’ And then I was able to process and figure out, ‘Oh, they put Produce 2.0 here.’ It’s got that kind of impact.”


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Food firms join forces with retailers in China to set up Fresh Assemble

envios a domicilio

Walmart and have joined forces with seven major food suppliers in China to expand Walmart’s home delivery service in the country with the addition of 100 new products. The venture is called Fresh Assemble and will feature contributions from Goodfarmer, Tyson, Sunner, Blue Snow, Jinlongyu, Dole and Yili, Customers living within three kilometres of Walmart retail outlets across China can choose from 450 different items to order products for home delivery via the JD Daojia platform.

Walmart is also working with the Dada delivery service to ensure food safety and ecological practices. The home delivery market in China is growing quickly and Walmart and are seeking to be main players in the lucrative field.

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Walmart honoured as top US mango retailer

The NMB said Campisi, senior director of quality control at Walmart, took the lead in making Walmart the first retailer in the US to pursue a year round ripe and ready to eat mango program, establishing its in-house ripening program and training QC teams to condition mangos.

Walmart has been singled out from over 100 retailers in America for special recognition as a mango retailer.

The US National Mango Board (NMB) named Walmart’s Wynn Peterson and Gary Campisi the 2016 Mango Retailers of the Year.

The award recognises retailers that go above and beyond to offer strong consistent support to the mango industry, and deliver outstanding mango promotion results, and was announced on October 16 during the PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in Orlando, Florida.

In a press release, the NMB said Peterson, a senior produce merchant at Walmart, envisioned that making Walmart the destination for mangos in the US would be good for business, “not just good for their produce business, but good for their overall store sales.

“He convinced upper management to invest in an aggressive promotion and pricing strategy, which included huge mango displays featured in prime store locations.”

Peterson said improving freshness has been a strategic focus for us at Walmart for the past two years. “Our suppliers have partnered with us to help take days out of our supply chain so that our Walmart customers are enjoying fresher produce than ever.”

“Even after a few years of excellent sales performance, we still have tremendous upside as we work together to introduce more people to this delicious fruit,” he said.

Left to right: Wendy McManus, Retail Program Manager at the NMB; Wynn Peterson, Senior Produce Merchant at Walmart; Gary Campisi, Senior Director of Quality Control at Walmart; and Manuel Michel, Executive Director at the NMB.

The NMB said Campisi, senior director of quality control at Walmart, took the lead in making Walmart the first retailer in the US to pursue a year round ripe and ready to eat mango program, establishing its in-house ripening program and training QC teams to condition mangos.

“Since 2012, the NMB and their ripening experts (and their persistence!) have helped Walmart develop a mango ripening program that would provide a better eating experience for our customers which would in turn increase sales. We have definitely seen the increase in customer demand with significant year over year growth in the mango category,” Campisi said.

NMB retail program manager Wendy McManus said Walmart has fundamentally changed its US mango business model over the past couple of years. “And because they are the largest retailer in the US, their focus on mangos has impacted the entire industry, whether you sell directly to them or not,” she said.



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Walmart’s seamless shopping strategy

Walmart's “seamless shopping” strategy starts with its existing, unparalleled assets – 2.3 million people; more than 11,500 retail locations; e-commerce websites and apps; and a dynamic, optimised supply chain – but also requires new capabilities and fresh thinking.

Customers used to compare Walmart with the store down the street; now they compare it with the best online shopping experience, says CEO Doug McMillon.

“And beyond retail, they compare us with every business they interact with in their lives. They compare our pickup experience to the speed and friendliness of the best drive-through. They compare our checkout process to the ease of paying with an app,” he want on to say.

In an excerpt from the American multinational retail chain’s 2015 annual report, McMillon said retail is not just about putting items on a shelf anymore. “It’s about fighting for our customers, cutting out the hassles and advocating for them on price, too. We’re moving beyond just selling products to being the brand customers rely on to make their lives simpler and more meaningful as they save money.”

McMillon said Walmart’s “seamless shopping” strategy starts with “unparalleled assets that only Walmart has – our 2.3 million people; more than 11,500 retail locations; e-commerce websites and apps; and a dynamic, optimised supply chain. But it also requires new capabilities and fresh thinking.

“This includes new digital tools for customers and frontline associates, as well as back-end software and platform work that benefits the entire enterprise. The use of data, algorithms, advanced forecasting capabilities – and more – is of extreme strategic significance.

“We will put these pieces together in a way no one else can,” he said.

“To help our associates succeed and better serve our customers, we’ve made big changes – including investing approximately $2.7 billion over two years in higher wages, education and training to make Walmart U.S. a better place to work and shop.

“We’re already seeing positive results: our fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 marked six consecutive quarters of positive comps and five straight quarters of positive traffic at Walmart U.S. Everything we’re doing in omnichannel depends on customers having great interactions with us in our stores.”

And the retail giant will strive to be more sustainable, “both in our own operations and in our supply chain,” he said.

“We have three big goals: creating zero waste, running on 100 percent renewable energy and selling products that sustain people and the environment.”